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Showing posts from January, 2016

The Arab problem with Iran

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Iran and the US reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. President Obama presented the Iranian deal as the triumph of diplomacy.


       There is a misconception that Arab countries wanted the US to remain in conflict with Iran. Having traveled in the Arab Gulf area in the summer, the impression I have is that Arab Gulf governments and people want the region to be normal. They want Iran to be a normal country with whom they can have normal relations. The issue in the Arab Gulf media coverage of the Iranian-US negotiations was not whether a nuclear deal is good or bad, the issue was Iran’s behavior in the Middle East and whether Iran is going to use the billions of dollars to continue to stir the sectarian pot with US acquiescence or with the US turning a blind eye.

       An Arab Gulf country, Oman, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), played a key role in providing a forum for the US and Iran to meet and start the process that led to the agreement. Arab newspaper …

AHRC's statement on the Flint and Detroit water crises

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The Flint and Detroit water crises are a violation of Michigan citizens' human right to water: Water is a basic necessity, not a market commodity or luxury
The American Human Council (AHRC-USA) joins the rest of the human rights community in expressing its deep concern over the city of Flint's water crisis and its impact on the citizens of Flint. The Flint water crisis is a serious public safety concern that merits serious and urgent attention. The root cause of the crisis should be identified and those responsible need to be held accountable.
The Flint water crisis is part of a bigger water crisis in Michigan. The ongoing Detroit water issue and the thousands of poor residents who could not afford to pay for the water services are left without water, a most basic human necessity. Water is not just another market commodity, it is a public good and a public service of vital importance. This importance was recognized by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 641292 passed on 28 July …

On Fairuz and Al Shira'a's Hasan Sabra

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An archiac Arabic word causes a Lebanese show to descend into name calling: Fairuz, Lebanese New TV and Al Shira’a
In Lebanese Al Shira’a magazine of December 14, 2015, publisher Hasan Sabra wrote an article critical of Lebanese icon Fairuz. Fairuz is the most famous Lebanese singer of all time and is seen by many as a national symbol that unites Lebanese of all backgrounds. Sabra said that he is not critical of Fairuz the singer but of Fairuz the person about whom the media should write honestly. Sabra said that people need to know celebrities for who they are- as human beings that have flaws. Sabra made five points in his magazine article:
1.Fairuz loves money and is stingy 2.Fairuz does not care for people/hates people 3.Fairuz is a habitual alcohol drinker 4.Fairuz is a co-conspirator of Syria’s Asad. During the 1970s siege of the Palestinian Tal el Za’atar refugee camp, Syrian military and intelligence officers met in her house plotting the attack on the camp that housed Palestinian r…